Europeans comparing and reducing their energy consumption via TV, PC and social networks applications


Neelie Kroes,
Vice President,
Brussels, Belgium — (METERING.COM) — February 23, 2012 – A recent European project, the Digital Environment Home Energy Management System (DEHEMS), is helping citizens and businesses to reduce their energy usage, according to a statement from the European Commission.

The DEHEMS project, which was tested in the United Kingdom and Bulgaria, showed that consumers are more likely to change their behavior when they receive more information about their energy use and can share and compare this with neighbors and family. Further, the consumers reduced energy usage by an average 8 percent when provided with an “information dashboard” about their energy use.

The system presents data every 6 seconds through a small digital display. The data can also be displayed in real time via a TV screen, mobile phone, PC or social media app.

“People make better choices when they have better information at hand,” commented EC vice president Neelie Kroes. “The DEHEMS project shows that very simple technologies can go a long way to helping Europe reduce energy use.”

According to the statement the DEHEMS system could set a huge trend in the coming years. Two commercial products are now available: The Energyhive and its network, which enables members to get a real time view of their home energy consumption 24/7 through a web browser, and Greenica, which offers special products for homes, schools and small businesses. Through a partnership between Hildebrand and IBM, the DEHEMS project and its lessons will soon be used by businesses both in Europe and worldwide. Major deployments are foreseen with Smart Grids Australia (involving 50,000 homes) and a district heating initiative in Camden, London.

The Family House Association in Birmingham is also looking to use DEHEMS-type technology.

The DEHEMS was a three-year EU-funded project managed by the Manchester Digital Development Agency that was completed in July 2011.

For more on the project see “Homes across five European cities get pioneering energy management tools” by Martine Tommis and Pukul Rana in Smart Energy International Issue 2 2011, p 80.